Artist Spotlight: Gabby Prouty

Gabby Prouty may be one of the most unassuming artists you’ll encounter here at Lawrence, but her work has been revered by her colleagues consistently throughout her time here. Here’s a little insight into one of Lawrence’s sweetest artistic minds.Where are you from and what is your major?
I’m from a small town in the southwest corner of Wisconsin. I’m majoring in studio art.

When and how did you start making art?
My sister and I spent our summers sitting on the floor, drawing on pieces of scratch paper. Everything basically started from there.

Are there any artists who you consider to be particularly inspirational?
Recently I’ve been looking a lot at Elizabeth Peyton’s work and it totally amazes me. There are a lot of aspects in her pieces that I would really like to emulate and learn from.
I also heard an interview once with Neko Case that changed my whole perspective on the creative process. Even though it wasn’t a message to visual artists specifically, it really inspired me to try new things, to take things a little less seriously, and have more fun with what I was doing.

How would you describe your art?
I mostly do two-dimensional – drawing, painting, printmaking. Apparently my art has a tendency to be whimsical, though that’s not something I focus on, it’s just part of me that refuses to be left out.
I tend to do a lot of figural work, and I’ve been drawing the figure for as long as I can remember. Lately the themes have gotten a little serious, but I try not to present it in such a way that feels too heavy.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I really like telling stories and expressing ideas, and if I could do that through art, I’d be set. I think people tend to underestimate how difficult it can be to express a specific emotion.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m planning on teaching in Japan next year, and maybe grad school or the Peace Corps after that. Maybe I’ll keep teaching, maybe not.
I always had this dream of working in a bakery, but I might wait until I’m older when I don’t mind getting up so early for that. And, of course, to keep doing art in whatever small shape or form.

Where and when can we see your artwork?
Several art majors and minors had work displayed at the Kaleidoscope Concert which was then moved to the Mudd Gallery.
Unfortunately, that was closed today, but with any luck I’ll have a solo show there sometime next term. And, of course, there’s the senior show in May.
That is something to look forward to.

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